Plot – lots of characters’ lives interweave during a week in December in London. It is a so-called state of the nation novel but I found it a bit predictable. It contains the typical characters found in the media today – the suicide bomber, the reality TV obsessed stoner, the tube driver who lives her life through an internet reality game, and the money obsessed hedge fund manager, who is truly despicable. The problem is that there are just too many characters to really engage with them all, for example a celebrity footballer character makes a brief appearance but fails to do very much of any interest or plot development.
The characters mostly are out of touch with reality; there is a literally insane reality show which is particularly awful. Overall I was rather disappointed, it is not one of Faulks’ best books and this novel seems to just attack all the obvious targets and says nothing that most people would disagree with so it seems a bit of a waste of time.